Panic Hoarding Gasoline Begins As UK Plunges Towards 'Winter Of Discontent'
By Tyler Durden/Activist PostSeptember 28, 2021
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One day after oil giant BP warned about rationing gasoline and diesel at UK service stations, Brits began to panic buy fuel as the government tried to calm fears.
Lines of cars and trucks are spilling over into the streets at service stations across the country. A BP spokesperson said Thursday that a truck driver shortage has resulted in its inability to transport fuel from refineries to its network of service stations. These words spooked the public, which could cause a more severe shortage due to the hoarding.
The scenes of long lines at gas stations bring back memories of the 1973 Opec Oil Crisis, the 2000 fuel shortage, and the virus pandemic disruptions amid fears the country is diving headfirst into a 1970s-style "winter of discontent" of shortages and socio-economic distress.
On Friday afternoon, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told Brits on Sky News that there was no fuel shortage and for "everyone to carry on as normal." His soothing words weren't enough to stop the buying panic, which is expected to continue into the weekend.
Boris Johnson could call in the Army to deliver fuel to petrol stations across Britain but it won't provide long term solutions to an estimated shortfall of 90,000 HGV drivers in the UK freight sector.
Ministers will consider drafting in troops to deliver petrol and diesel later this week if panic-buying persists, sources said, after Government officials gave the green light for plans to bring in 5,000 foreign lorry drivers to deal with the shortage.
The Petrol Retailers Association (PRA), which represents 5,500 independent stations, said two-thirds had run dry by Sunday night. Its chairman, Brian Madderson, said it would take up to a week to restock – and warned the crisis could become 'self-perpetuating' if motorists continued to panic.
As the crisis deepens, many commuters now face having to find alternative routes to work on Monday morning, meaning the travel chaos is set to spill over into other transportation sectors.
Gasoline and diesel shortages will only stoke higher prices amid an expanding energy crisis that has resulted in another shortage: natural gas. This has caused power prices to erupt and disrupted chemical plants that halted fertilizer production, and has caused headaches for major food supply chains.
The next 10 days are crucial because retailers ramp up supplies in October to ensure there are enough goods for the peak Christmas season.
Brits are also panic hoarding food. Turkey farmers reported a surge in orders as families scramble to save Christmas dinner amid fears of a poultry shortage. Several farms are reporting 250 per cent surges compared to figures from this time last year.
The Daily Mail provides a list of issues that threatens a winter of discontent:
1. A shortage of natural gas causing a spike in gas bills for millions of Britons, along with the possibility of dozens of small energy firms going bust;
2. However ministers say 'there is question of the lights going out, of people being unable to heat their homes. There will be no three-day working week, or a throwback to the 1970s';
3. A shortage of natural gas leading to the closure of fertilizer plants, which produce the CO2 used in fizzy drinks and the meat industry;
4. The Government has since agreed a deal with fertilizer firms to restart a factory in a bid to maintain CO2 production;
5. A lorry driver shortage which is crippling the UK's transport industry, leaving to empty shelves and slow delivery times;
6. Bosses say this could impact both of Christmas dinners and have an impact on the number of toys on the shelves;
7. Now bosses of major fuel firms have warned they will have to start shutting petrol stations because there are not enough lorry drivers to effectively distribute to all of its petrol stations;
Worst still, there are now fears that shortages could bite households in the run-up to Christmas.
Originally published at Activist Post - reposted with permission.